Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tour Del Gelato stops in Texas...


Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy has issued a challenge around the world to taste and catalogue gelaterie! Now this is a challenge I can handle. =)

So now... sit back and enjoy the American-ized version of this delectible Italian treat:

PACIUGO

This chain of gelaterie started in Dallas by some Italians from Torino (I think) and has just exploded across the nation. In my humble opinion it is probably the closest you can get to the real thing, in my area at least, that is not homemade (my Italian husband agrees). I have to say though, it is not as good as the gelato I've had in Italy and the flavors are not as plentiful; but we like it and it satisfies the craving. My only complaint is sometimes the flavors pretty much all taste the same. Which could be my fault and a result of those I pick for my take home "tubs". But Stef says that sometimes that happens in Italy too - so who knows.

Lucky for me, Sara's challenge gave me a chance to stop by on my way home. YAY! The stores rotate flavors so unfortunately today, they didn't have my favorites. On a side note, why can never remember the name of my favorites? I just know them by sight. However, this did give me an excuse to try some new ones and a few seasonal varieties. I had fun with the store dude and let him take some "artistic" shots of the gelato. He was a nice kid (teenager) who excitedly told me about his upcoming trip to Florence this summer. Gelato spans he generations I tell you! Here are a few pics...


Points of viewing interest - recently they started making very spikey peaks on the tops of some flavors - why oh why do they do that? Also, in the second pic you can see some of the holiday flavors like egg nog and pumpkin pie. I tried them - they're pretty darn good. American-ized = cookie dough gelato. I mean come on, its cookie dough and gelato - whats not to like?? (though I'm pretty sure that would never grace Italian gelateria selections..hehe)

I decided to get a small tub that holds up to 4 flavors. Since I was a little pouty at not seeing my favs, I only got 3. hehe Chocolate chocolate chip, Amaretto chocolate chip and Italian Trifle (which is basically a Zuppa Inglese inspired flavor). So if you are in the states and are jonesing for some gelato, check out the web site and see if they are near you.

And now for Stefano's gelaterie picks in Italy (you'll have to take his word for it cuz I've not tried these):

GELATERIA NICO
You gotta try the Gianduiotto da Passeggio
Zattere, Venezia
041 522 5293

Gelaterie in Alpago area (Belluno) - this is the most important area of gelato. The "World Capital" if you will. It is full of families who have been making gelato for many generations and who really are responsible for the world wide spread of it. You pretty much can try any of the gelaterie in the Alpago area and not go wrong. They also have a festival in Nov - WOOHOO.

There - the Veneto has now been represented! =)

More later...

6 comments :

Cynthia Rae said...

Who knew that the gelato tour would be making a stop in America! My brother tried a new gelato store in Indy (dont know the name) but it came up short compared to the gelato in Italy. Looks like you guys lucked out.

I WISH WISH WISH I had known about the Venice store last week. We were just in Venice on Saturday. I will be sure to check it out the next time we are there!

Cyn

tracie b said...

i LOVE them puffy peaks! they make the gelato look so much more heavenly. the tour will be stoppong in napoli as soon as i can get my hermit to take me.

Jessica Brogan said...

Now when you go to the movies, go in highland park village, there's a pac's in the building!

Bobby J said...

Ms. TX Expresso: I have to agree with you about Paciugo: it doesn't do it for me either for gelato. We have been craving real gelato and pizza as we had experienced in Rome, Viterbo, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Assisi, Venice and other places...the family took me to Paciugo's location in West University in the Houston area. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I finally found a place here in Houston worthy of the name gelato: Nundini's Italian Foods and Deli, 500 N. Shepherd. Be sure to try their raspbery, mango and wonderful orange flavors. I usually try a shop's lemon flavor if offered....the real Italian shops' lemon gelato reminds me of lemon drops...the lemon is so intense. Buono Appettito!!!

Cristiana said...

Ciao a tutti!
My name is Cristiana, I'm from Italy and I'm the one that creates Paciugo recipes. Thank you Ms Espresso for mentioning our gelato! As you know, we use local ingredients and some of the difference in flavor could be due to the flavor of the milk or it could be due to the fact that we don't use any cream. Maybe richer flavors such as Mascarpone, Cheesecake or Fondente. I agree with you that the peaks are not inviting, however we make all the gelato fresh at each store and Clementina, the person that makes gelato in Plano, is very proud of her invention: the peaks! As long as it doesn't effect the texture or flavor, I like for our gelatai to be creative. I told her about your comments, maybe...
And I would like to say something to Bobby J.: sometimes the lemon drop effect is due to citric acid or artificial flavorings. We only use hand squeeze (by us) lemon juice and we add also some hand grated lemon zest (the part that contains the essential oils). We use the citric acid only to clean the dishwasher! If you would like to give us another try, lime sorbet is more intense than lemon. I was born in Italy, my grandfather was making gelato in Lodi, I travelled all over Italy and I love our gelato, I can assure you that it's very authentic, even if you don't like it. I just came back from Slow Food 5th International Congress in Puebla and we prepared gelato with several fruit from the local Presidia (Baluartes: endangered varieties of fruit and vegetables, traditional and unique of Mexico), one of the recipes was a Lime Chia seeds sorbet and everybody loved it, including many delegates from Italy.
Thank you again for your feed-back and Buon appetito a voi!
Cristiana
cristiana@paciugo.com

K_Jones said...

As I sit here eating the zuppa triffle flavor, I have to disagree with you on flavor. We have lived everywhere and I am a total food snob. Dallas is killing me here with the lack of good food. In NYC we would walk into any restuarant and it was tasty. Here, not so much. But Paciugo is the cleanest and most authentic I've tasted so far. My only complaint, which is a huge one, is that they use artificial flavorings and colorings. My son can't have anything artificial,(which means none of us can - wouldn't be fair) and so this limits us greatly in what he can try. We used to go to the store next to Ali Baba every week, but then you closed. :o(
Hopefully I can find a resplacement or can perfect some of my gelato recipes at home.